But it is important to realize we are all trapped in mental constructs, and so we separate ourselves from reality; the whole world loses its aliveness-or, rather, we lose our ability to sense that aliveness, the sacredness of nature. When we approach nature through the conceptualizing mind, we see a forest as a commodity, a concept. We no longer see it for what it truly is, but for what we want to use it as. It is reduced. This is how it becomes possible for humans to destroy the planet without realizing what they are doing.
important quotesrealize quotestrapped quotesmental quotesconstructs quotesseparate quotesreality quotesworld quotesloses quotesalivenessor quoteslose quotesability quotessense quotesaliveness quotessacredness quotesnature quotesapproach quotesnature quotesconceptualizing quotesmind quotesforest quotescommodity quotesconcept quoteslonger quotesreduced quoteshumans quotesdestroy quotesplanet quotesrealizing quotes
After having been lost in the world, suddenly, through the pressure of suffering, the realization comes that the answers may not be found out there in worldly attainment and in the future. That's an important point for many people to reach. That sense of deep crisis-when the world as they have known it, and the sense of self that they have known that is identified with the world, become meaningless.
Feel the energy of your inner body. Immediately mental noise slows down or ceases. Feel it in your hands, your feet, your abdomen, your chest. Feel the life that you are, the life that animates the body. The body then becomes a doorway, so to speak, into a deeper sense of aliveness underneath the fluctuating emotions and underneath your thinking.
feel quotesenergy quotesbody quotesimmediately quotesmental quotesnoise quotesslows quotesceases quoteshands quotesfeet quotesabdomen quoteschest quoteslife quotesanimates quotesbody quotesdoorway quotesspeak quotesdeeper quotessense quotesaliveness quotesunderneath quotesfluctuating quotesemotions quotesthinking quotes
For many people, the first indication of a spiritual awakening is that they suddenly become aware of their thoughts. They become a witness to their thoughts, so to speak. They are not completely identified with their mind anymore and so they begin to sense that there is a depth to them that they had never known before.
When you continuously know and sense yourself as the space of consciousness rather than what appears in consciousness - sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions - then it can be said that you are enlightened... except that you wouldn't think or speak of yourself as 'enlightened', because that would instantly create another mind-based conceptual identity and so it would be the end of 'your' enlightenment.
Once you have identified with some form of negativity, you do not want to let it go, and on a deeply unconscious level, you do not want positive change. It would threaten your identity as a depressed, angry or hard-done by person. You will then ignore, deny or sabotage the positive in your life. This is a common phenomenon. It is also insane.
The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not "the thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter "" beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace "" arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
beginning quotesfreedom quotesrealization quotesthinker quotesmoment quotesstart quoteswatching quotesthinker quoteshigher quoteslevel quotesconsciousness quotesactivated quotesbegin quotesrealize quotesvast quotesrealm quotesintelligence quotesthought quotesthought quotestiny quotesaspect quotesintelligence quotesthings quotesmatter quotesbeauty quoteslove quotescreativity quotesjoy quotespeace quotesarise quotesmind quotesawaken quotes
The answer is, who you are cannot be defined through thinking or mental labels or definitions, because it's beyond that. It is the very sense of being, or presence, that is there when you become conscious of the present moment. In essence, you and what we call the present moment are, at the deepest level, one.
The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life's challenges when they come. Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.
indicator quoteslevel quotesconsciousness quotesdeal quoteslifes quoteschallenges quoteschallenges quotesunconscious quotesperson quotesdeeply quotesunconscious quotesconscious quotesintensely quotesconscious quoteschallenge quotesawaken quotespull quotesdeeper quotessleep quotesdream quotesordinary quotesunconsciousness quotesturns quotesnightmare quotes
Direct your attention inward. Have a look inside yourself. What kind of thoughts is your mind producing? What do you feel? Direct your attention into the body. Is there any tension? Once you detect that there is a low level of unease, the background static, see in what way you are avoiding, resisting, or denying life-by denying the Now.
The power of the heart is to be connected with who you are at the deepest level. The power of the heart is the power of life itself, the power of the very intelligence that pervades and underlies the entire universe. It is a power that lies at the very heart of the universe. So to live in connectedness with that, then you are in touch with the power of the heart.
Most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking. They pay more attention to that than to what the other person is saying, and none at all to what really matters: the Being of the other person underneath the words and the mind. Of course, you cannot feel someone else's Being except through your own. This is the beginning of the realization of oneness, which is love. At the deepest level of Being, you are one with all that is.
Space really means the level of awareness or presence, not thinking. So, can you look at your partner and not think? Two conscious beings realize that the essence of the relationship is the space in it. Even when there is an egoic overlay, it is not too dense or heavy for you to sense the essence underneath it. You don't need to react to the egoic overlay. When you don't react to it you don't strengthen it.
space quotesmeans quoteslevel quotesawareness quotespresence quotesthinking quotespartner quotesconscious quotesbeings quotesrealize quotesessence quotesrelationship quotesspace quotesegoic quotesoverlay quotesdense quotesheavy quotessense quotesunderneath quotesreact quotesoverlay quotesstrengthen quotes
For a long time humans probably were in touch on a deeper level with the depths of their being, unconsciously so, the same way an animal or a tree is. Gradually, though, more and more of their identity went into the movement of thought. They identified more and more with the movement of thinking.
Every individual is in touch with the deeper level of being, the aware consciousness. If these humans form groups, they do not derive their sense of self from the group, which does not mean there cannot be a sense of being part of this group. But the group itself does not become an egoic entity.
On all levels, evolution occurs in response to a crisis situation, not infrequently a life-threatening one, when the old structures, inner or outer, are breaking down or are not working anymore. On a personal level, this often means the experience of loss of one kind or another: the death of a loved one, the end of a close relationship, loss of possessions, your home, status, or a breakdown of the external structures of your life that provided a sense of security.
levels quotesevolution quotesoccurs quotesresponse quotescrisis quotessituation quotesinfrequently quoteslifethreatening quotesstructures quotesouter quotesbreaking quotesworking quotesanymore quotespersonal quoteslevel quotesmeans quotesexperience quotesloss quoteskind quotesdeath quotesloved quotesend quotesclose quotesrelationship quotespossessions quoteshome quotesstatus quotesbreakdown quotesexternal quotesstructures quoteslife quotesprovided quotessense quotessecurity quotes
At the deepest level, an 'open heart' is spacious presence, in which the sense of separateness between yourself and the 'other' dissolves and there is the recognition of oneness, of shared consciousness. That recognition is love. Sensing the formless essence in another and recognizing it as one with your own essence - that's what love is. All this is an intrinsic part of the awakened consciousness and the revelation of the spiritual dimension of life.
deepest quoteslevel quotesopen quotesheart quotesspacious quotespresence quotessense quotesseparateness quotesother quotesdissolves quotesrecognition quotesoneness quotesshared quotesconsciousness quoteslove quotessensing quotesformless quotesessence quotesrecognizing quoteslove quotesintrinsic quotespart quotesawakened quotesconsciousness quotesrevelation quotesspiritual quotesdimension quoteslife quotes
Empathy with someone else's pain or lack and a desire to help need to be balanced with a deeper realization of the eternal nature of all life and the illusion of all pain. Then let your peace flow into whatever you do, and you will be working on the levels of effect and cause simultaneously.
Whenever there is negativity in you, if you can be aware in that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing.
Throughout history humans have inflicted countless violent, cruel, and hurtful acts on each other, and continue to do so. Are they all to be condemned; are they all guilty? Or are those acts simply expressions of unconsciousness, an evolutionary stage that we are now growing out of? Jesus' words, "Forgive them for they do not know what they do," also apply to yourself.
history quoteshumans quotesinflicted quotescountless quotesviolent quotescruel quoteshurtful quotesacts quotescontinue quotescondemned quotesguilty quotessimply quotesexpressions quotesunconsciousness quotesevolutionary quotesstage quotesgrowing quotesjesus quoteswords quotesforgive quotesdo quotesapply quotes
Be alert as you watch a dog at play or at rest. Let the animal teach you to feel at home in the now, to celebrate life by being completely present. You just watch the tail ... with some dogs you just look at them - just a little look is enough - and their tail goes ...'Life is good! Life is good!' And they are not telling themselves a story of why life is good. It's a direct realization.
Make it a habit to ask yourself: What's going on inside me at this moment? That question will point you in the right direction. But don't analyze, just watch. Focus your attention within. Feel the energy of the emotion. If there is no emotion present, take your attention more deeply into the inner energy field of your body. It is the doorway into Being.
Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are. You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom.
fear quotesarises quotesidentification quotesform quotesmaterial quotespossession quotesphysical quotesbody quotessocial quotesrole quotesselfimage quotesthought quotesemotion quotesunawareness quotesformless quotesdimension quotesconsciousness quotesspirit quotesessence quotestrapped quotesobject quotesconsciousness quotesunaware quotesspace quotestrue quotesfreedom quotes
If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won't lose yourself in the external world, and you won't lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires may still be there to some extent, but they won't take you over.
When each thought absorbs your attention completely, it means you identify with the voice in your head. Thought then becomes invested with a sense of self. This is the ego, a mind-made "me." That mentally constructed self feels incomplete and precarious. That's why fearing and wanting are its predominant emotions and motivating forces.
thought quotesabsorbs quotesattention quotescompletely quotesmeans quotesidentify quotesvoice quoteshead quotesthought quotesinvested quotessense quotesego quotesmindmade quotesmentally quotesconstructed quotesfeels quotesincomplete quotesprecarious quotesfearing quoteswanting quotespredominant quotesemotions quotesmotivating quotesforces quotes
When you completely accept this moment, when you no longer argue with what is, the compulsion to think lessens and is replaced by an alert stillness. You are fully conscious, yet the mind is not labeling this moment in any way... It is a shift from identification with form --the thought or the emotion-- to being and recognizing yourself as that which has no form -- spacious awareness.
completely quotesaccept quotesmoment quoteslonger quotesargue quotescompulsion quoteslessens quotesreplaced quotesalert quotesstillness quotesfully quotesconscious quotesmind quoteslabeling quotesmoment quotesshift quotesidentification quotesform quotesthought quotesemotion quotesrecognizing quotesspacious quotesawareness quotes
For many years I had been deeply identified with thinking and the painful, heavy emotions that had accumulated inside. My thought activity was mostly negative, and my sense of identity was also mostly negative, although I tried hard to prove to myself and to the world that I was good enough by working very hard academically. But even after I had achieved academic success, I was happy for two weeks or three and then the depression and anxiety came back.
years quotesdeeply quotesidentified quotesthinking quotespainful quotesheavy quotesemotions quotesaccumulated quotesinside quotesthought quotesactivity quotesnegative quotessense quotesidentity quoteshard quotesprove quotesworld quotesgood quotesworking quotesacademically quotesachieved quotesacademic quotessuccess quoteshappy quotesweeks quotesdepression quotesanxiety quotesback quotes
Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.
By far the greater part of violence that humans inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens service of the collective ego. One can go so far as to say that on this planet "normal" equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego.
greater quotespart quotesviolence quoteshumans quotesinflicted quoteswork quotescriminals quotesmentally quotesderanged quotesnormal quotesrespectable quotescitizens quotesservice quotescollective quotesego quotesplanet quotesnormal quotesequals quotesinsane quoteslies quotesroot quotesinsanity quotescomplete quotesidentification quotesthought quotesemotion quotes
Teaching a practice can also be a hindrance if it becomes one's identity. To be a spiritual teacher is a temporary function. I'm a spiritual teacher when somebody comes to me and some teaching happens, but the moment they leave I'm no longer a spiritual teacher. If I carry the identity of spiritual teacher, it will cause suffering.
When you are present, when your attention is fully in the Now, Presence will flow into and transform what you do. There will be a quality and power in it. You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn't. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego-but not until you suffer consciously.
wonderful quotesspare quotessuffering quotesevolve quoteshuman quotesbeings quotesremain quotesshallow quotesidentified quotesexternal quotesform quotesthings quotessuffering quotesdrives quotesdeeper quotesparadox quotessuffering quotescaused quotesidentification quoteserodes quotesform quoteslot quotesego quoteseventually quotesdestroys quotesegobut quotessuffer quotesconsciously quotes